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On Nov. 19 the Driggs City Council will consider the annexation of 160 acres in Tributary, shown in red on the map. The neighborhoods, accessed by Birch Berry Drive and Cottongrass Road, include some houses and some vacant lots owned by third parties, although the development still owns most of the properties.

Per an agreement with the former developer that was signed five years ago, the City of Driggs is preparing to annex an additional part of Tributary, formerly Huntsman Springs, into city limits.

The planned unit development, first established in 2006, currently straddles the city boundary, with part of it in the city’s area of impact. That means public confusion and added complexity in development applications where both the county and city have jurisdiction.

In 2017 Driggs Acquisition, a branch of the investment firm BDT Capital Partners, bought Huntsman Springs from the Huntsman family, renamed it Tributary, and began attempting to reinvigorate the stalled luxury development.

Workers at Tributary have started breaking ground on the new 7.5-acre public park north of the courthouse, as well as on six new houses. Lot and home sales will begin again in spring of 2020, according to a press release from the resort. The roads just beyond the park will be privatized with gated entries similar to the one on Birch Berry.

The new owners, in an updated development agreement with the city, have agreed to honor a 2014 annexation agreement that sets forth December of this year as the deadline for annexation of around 160 acres west of city limits. The neighborhoods, accessed by Birch Berry Drive and Cottongrass Road, include some houses and some undeveloped lots owned by third parties, although Driggs Acquisition still owns most of the properties. The city does not plan to annex the non-residential portions of the golf course that abut the neighborhoods.

The land included in the proposed annexation is currently zoned rural agricultural, which is described by the Driggs planning staff as “inappropriate and ineffective” for continued development in Tributary. After the annexation, the lots will be rezoned to residential and recreational zones specific to the planned unit development master plan.

While the city will lose a small amount of revenue in the short term after annexation (homeowners outside of city limits who are connected to city water and sewer services pay 150 percent of those utility fees), the city stands to benefit in the long term from additional property taxes and building permit and impact fees from the 114 buildable residential lots. Meanwhile, because those roads are private, the city won’t be responsible for additional maintenance or plowing.

The Driggs Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezone on Oct. 23. The Driggs City Council will consider the annexation and rezone on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. Comments regarding the application can be submitted to lbernstein@driggsidaho.org until Nov. 13. For more information on Tributary, visit www.driggsidaho.org/active-projects.

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